The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: More Roy

Republican Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct, announced he would run for Senate again. Plus: Who’s steering policy on Iran?

Julie Bennett / AP
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What We’re Following Today

It’s Thursday, June 20.

‣ The Republican Roy Moore, who lost the race for an Alabama Senate seat in 2017 to Doug Jones after allegations of sexual misconduct, announced he would run again.

‣ The Supreme Court ruled that a government-maintained cross serving as a war memorial in Maryland does not violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause. (The arguments are complicated.)

‣ The Senate passed 22 resolutions aimed at blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a rebuke of the White House’s relationship with Saudi Arabia following the journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Donald Trump is expected to veto them.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi  walk together following a closed-door security briefing on the rising tensions with Iran. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Behind the Curtain: Last night, Iran shot down a U.S. drone, the most significant escalation so far between the two countries. President Donald Trump may not want war, but he’s not the one steering policy on Iran. The new head of U.S. forces in the Middle East, General Kenneth McKenzie, was the one who requested the recent carrier strike group and ensured two more rounds of troop deployments.

+ “Throughout its history, America has attacked countries that did not threaten it. To carry out such wars, American leaders have contrived pretexts to justify American aggression. That’s what Donald Trump’s administration—and especially its national security adviser, John Bolton—is doing now with Iran,” argues Peter Beinart.

On the Trail With Trump: Trump is fixated on the possibility of impeachment, and some of his staff think it’s inevitable that Nancy Pelosi will give in to pressures from the Democratic base. But the White House isn’t prepared for it in the slightest, reports Peter Nicholas, and Trump’s reelection advisers want him to talk about something, anything else on the campaign trail.

+ The biggest obstacle to Trump’s victory in 2020 might not be his Democratic opponents, but Trump himself. At his campaign kickoff rally, he focused more on stoking the fires of his ardent supporters than bringing new voters into his coalition, writes Ronald Brownstein. “His polarizing approach to the presidency is alienating an unusually large number of voters satisfied with the economy.”


Chris Smith makes his way through floodwaters to the Macedonia Baptist Church in Westville, New Jersey. Severe storms with heavy rains and strong winds spurred flooding across southern New Jersey. (Matt Rourke / AP)

The United States’ Megan Rapinoe (right) kisses her teammate Lindsey Horan, who scored a goal during the Women’s World Cup Group F soccer match between Sweden and the United States, at Stade Océane, in Le Havre, France. (Alessandra Tarantino / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

The Children America Throws Away (Adam Serwer)
“America asks a great deal of those children who are born into difficult circumstances, and punishes them brutally when they stumble. America asks very little of those born into lives of plenty or relative plenty, and offers them comfort when they fail. Yet the children America throws away are no less children than the ones it deems worthy of protection.” → Read on.

What If We Let Robots Do All the Work? (Annie Lowrey)
“Imagine a life in which virtually all of your needs were met. In this world, society would guarantee its members not just middle-income status, but the prospect of travel, the option of a fulfilling but nonremunerative career, time with family and friends, time spent with cats and gardens and on volunteering and road trips. Imagine that all your peers exercised regularly and watched as much Peak Television as they wanted. Imagine never retiring, because there would be no need to retire. And imagine this happening on a far greener planet.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

‣  ‘My Whole Life Is a Bet.’ Inside President Trump’s Gamble on an Untested Reelection Strategy (Brian Bennett, Time)(🔒 Paywall)
‘These People Aren’t Coming From Norway’: Refugees in a Minnesota City Face a Backlash (Astead W. Herndon, The New York Times)(🔒 Paywall)
Suicides, ICE Cooperation, and Racism Allegations at Maryland Jail (Lauren Gill, The Appeal)
Joe Biden’s Segregationist Problem (Dan McLaughlin, National Review)

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writers: Elaine Godfrey, Madeleine Carlisle, and Olivia Paschal. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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